500 patients would be included when the programme starts in 2018, with the number rising to up to 1,500 in 2021
The Danish government on Tuesday announced a four-year trial programme for medical cannabis use starting in 2018, saying it would target "some of the patients who self-medicate with illegal products."
"Patients with a number of selected diseases and symptoms that have previously been treated with relevant, approved drugs, can be prescribed medical cannabis at the individual doctor's responsibility," the country's health ministry said in a statement.
An estimated 500 patients would be included when the programme starts in 2018, with the number rising to up to 1,500 in 2021, a ministry spokesman told AFP.
Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, chronic pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting could become eligible for the programme, according to recommendations from the Danish Medicines Agency.
The move was criticised by the chairman of the Danish Medical Association, Andreas Rudkjobing, who told daily Politiken that there was "not enough documentation" of "what happens with patients who use this for a long time."
Several political parties in Denmark want to legalise recreational use of cannabis, but the three biggest parties -- the Social Democrats, the anti-immigration Danish People's Party and the ruling Venstre party -- are against.